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Preview: Duff on Port Vale

19 December 2019

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Robins boss Michael Duff has backed his team's resilience ahead of this Saturday's trip to Port Vale but reiterated the fine margins there are to win games in League Two.

He takes his side to Port Vale on Saturday seeking to extend the club's fantastic away form this season.

It's the first meeting of the season in League Two with the Valiants, though the two sides will know each other well having met in the FA Cup second round just a few weeks ago at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Saturday's opponents triumphed that day thanks to a quickfire second half hat-trick from imposing forward Tom Pope and this weekend's clash represents a new opportunity to get one back over John Askey's men.

"It was another game of two halves," Duff said. "I think we dominated them first half and could only score the one goal. If we had gone on to score a second goal then it might have been a slightly different second half.

"We didn't and they came out and pressed the life out of us and dominated the second half. It's difficult to get out of that bottom end when teams do pin you in. They did it well and Popey went and scored three goals in eight minutes which was ultimately the difference in the game."

Duff has praised his team for their solidity in the campaign - a compactness that has helped the team into the automatic promotion slots ahead of this weekend's trip to Vale Park.

"Other than the Port Vale game in the FA Cup we've been difficult to beat. I think the two defeats that we've had were in August but recently we haven't quite done enough to win a game," he added.

"At this level there is nothing in games. We've just been looking at Port Vale - they've had 21 games this season and 19 of them have either been drawn or there has only been one goal in it.

"It shows that it is real fine margins to win or lose a game at this level."

See more from Duff's press conference on Thursday morning above on iFollow.

Tickets and away travel for Saturday's fixture, as well as for other upcoming home and away matches, are on sale from the ticket office between 10am and 3pm on Thursday and Friday.


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